Have you ever had a prayer that you prayed that felt unreal? Not like you didn’t believe it, just that it was so crazy, so removed from where you were at that you couldn’t grasp how it could ever be answered? Have you ever had one answered?
There have been a few prayers that no matter how passionate and how much I believed that God could and would answer, they still felt unreal. One is a current prayer. The prayer for marriage and a family. I fully believe that someday I will get married and have kids and be a crazy, sleepless mama. But that day is not today. And I can’t even imagine how God is going to answer this prayer. I don’t know my husband, or at least I don’t know he’ll be my husband. I don’t know what kids we will have, what house we will live in or what our lives will lead up to. I don’t know the tragedies that will awaken us in the night nor the joy that will find us in the morning. And so, no matter how strongly I believe that God will answer, it still is so unreal to me.
Another one of these prayers was answered less than 6 months ago. And I think that God allowed the prayer to be so unreal because I could never imagined Him answering it so perfectly.
You see a little over 35 years ago a 17 year old gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who she selflessly gave up for adoption. The story before this event and the story of the beautiful baby girl are not mine to share….
But, fast forward 20 years…
The 17 year old girl grew older, fell in love, was married and had 3 more beautiful baby girls. These girls tortured each other relentlessly and yet, they were the best of friends. They wrestled with their dad and tickled each other. They giggled watching TGIF and argued in the car. Who would have thought anything was missing?
The mom had a tradition, when they were around the age of 10 they would go with their mom on a special clothing shopping trip where they not only were spoiled with new clothes but they learned the birds and the bees. I firmly believe that the shopping was supposed to make up for the tramatizing experience of hearing about sex. Anyways, this trip was different than most conversations about the birds and the bees for it wasn’t just a lesson on human nature and the anatomy but it was a moment of learning more about their mom and the beautiful baby girl she had given up.
That 17 year old girl was my mother and when I was 10 years old I learned that I actually had 3 older sisters. It’s funny how a moment can change everything. Like the moment that led to my mom getting pregnant. The moment she gave her baby away. The moment my parents met and the moment they fell in love. Or even, the moment I learned that there was another sister who I could look up to. It wasn’t that what I had wasn’t good enough but instead it was that what I had with my sisters was so wonderful I could only imagine how much better a third sister would be. And from that moment on I prayed for her. I wanted to know who she was and what she was like. Was she emotional like me? Was she crazy like me? Did she look like us? Did she talk just a little too much and laugh just a little too loud? Did she love family and enjoy people? I had so many questions that only she could answer.
And so, for nearly 15 years, I prayed. I prayed to know who she was. I prayed that she would find us and know that she had always been loved. I prayed and yet, it always felt unreal.
And then early this fall she found us. On an unassuming day the answers came. When my life was swirling out of control, when I was uncertain about everything in my life. When God was asking me to let go and to just step out in faith, He gave me a stepping stone. Sometimes we pray for things that just seem so unreal that we forget that He answers. We forget why we even pray at all. Then, in one moment, the answer comes. We pray because He hears us. We pray because He answers. We pray because He seeks to make us whole.
There are so many things that the last few months have taught me about myself, about my family, about God and about people. But my favorite thing that I have learned is that God cares about even the smallest desires, He cares about the things we pray since we were 10 years old. He cares that even though we could have lived life without knowing, it’s nice to know.
You see, I have 3 older sisters and they are just like me but so terribly different. They are silly and ridiculous. They are smart and charming. They make me laugh and challenge me. They let me laugh and don’t let anything slide. They are there for me even when we say nothing at all. And besides God, I’m pretty certain they are some of my biggest champions.
Don’t stop praying the prayers that seem unreal. Don’t stop praying the prayers where you can’t see how they might end up. Don’t stop praying because even though it may take 15, 20, 60 years, He cares and He will answer.